Millennials are moving to Alabama.An analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau's 1-year American Community Survey by Today's Homeowner shows that 44,673 people moved to Alabama in 2021, including 31,320 …
Millennials are moving to Alabama.
An analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau's 1-year American Community Survey by Today's Homeowner shows that 44,673 people moved to Alabama in 2021, including 31,320 people in the millennial generation, typically defined as people born between 1981 and 1996.
In Baldwin County, the U.S Census Bureau reports that 5,202 people moved here that same year, including 983 millennials, or individuals aged 23-38.
Lee Lawson, president and CEO of Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, said the number of millennials moving to Baldwin County is currently not outpacing that of the retirees headed south.
However, that trend is expected to change.
The population in Baldwin County for ages 60 and above grew by 2.9% in 2021, Lawson said. At the same time, the population of millennials grew by 2%. The numbers were pulled from JobsEQ, which provides timely labor market data.
The same data anticipate Baldwin County's population in the age range of 23-38 to grow 20% faster than the U.S. average in the next 10 years.
Lawson said the numbers are not surprising. Local leaders have spent decades diversifying the county's economy and moving away from being merely a tourism destination to a place where families come to grow.
"We've been working on that for years, and we are finally seeing that come to fruition," he said.
As a result, people, regardless of age, age moving to Baldwin County.
"If you look at the whole state, it tends to be us and Madison County as the leaders of the pack in terms of economic and statistical growth categories," Lawson said. "If you also look at the figures, we are one of the top job-creating counties in the country. Our job growth outpaces our population growth. Our wage rate is increasing over and above state and national percentage levels. That's what we want to see, all the metrics turn in a positive direction."
The pandemic, Lawson said, seemed to fast track people's desire to leave big, metro cities for smaller municipalities found in places like Baldwin County.
"The data is driven by the anecdotal. There is empowerment in being a geographic free agent. When people can work from home, their move is going to be dictated by other factors — good public schools, safe community, does my property value increase because kids can get a good education, do I feel comfortable living there?" Lawson said. "When you layer in that qualify of life and people's ability to seek economic opportunity it all adds up to why we have what we have here and the great positive growth we're producing."